Negotiating ‘New Woman’: A Study of Bama’s Karukku
Trisita Karmakar
‘new woman’, dalit feminism, subjugation, emancipation, identification, resurrection.
An eminent dalit feminist writer, an effeminate novelist and efficient teacher Bama, also known as Bama Faustina Soosairaj gets her wide popularity with her autobiographical writing Karukku, which watersheds on her personal crises and chronicles the joys and sorrows experienced by a dalit Christian woman in Tamilnadu. Bama, is the most celebrated contemporary Dalit Woman writer, has given a prominent visibility in Dalit aesthetics which has previously lacked in this literary genre. Her most famous work Karukku breaks the barrier of all traditional boundaries and depicts the most bold and poignant tale of life outside the mainstream Indian thought. Revolving around the main theme of caste oppression within the Catholic Church, Karukku portrays the tension between the self and the community, and presents Bama’s life as a process of self reflection and recovery from social and institutional betrayal. Breaking the silence that has been lasted for more generations they gather courage and venture their voice against the caste rigidity, suppression of gender inequality and create a bold account of their actual need of life. The awakening consciousness and challenging representation of dalit woman as ‘other’ is very delicately imbibed in Karukku. The ordinary autobiographical incidents of her life is the embodiment of the social changes and awakening of social consciousness, their urge for change, their voice of mind, crave for position compels the society to rethink. The ‘new woman’ was thus born. The concept of “new woman” that first emerged in the late nineteenth century can be taken as an iconic change in gender norms and caste stigma. This new woman had a privilege to enjoy greater freedom to chase and perform public roles and rejected the conservative gender roles assigned to her. Debunking and rejecting the age-old roles performed by the females, these women made modern choices in order to express their autonomy and individuality. In this paper an attempted has been made to analyze the evolving zeal of the ‘new woman’ among the Dalit females in Bama’s Karukku.
Article Details
Unique Paper ID: 160856

Publication Volume & Issue: Volume 10, Issue 1

Page(s): 1572 - 1576
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